Energy yield estimates


This document describes the methodology we followed to calculate the annual energy yield of a solar PV plant in RatedPower's pvDesign.

The aim of the document is provide you with a comprehensive review and analysis of the methodology, describing in detail the calculations involved in each step of the process.

These models covers simulation of fixed structures and trackers, and mono-face and bifacial photovoltaic modules.

If you're evaluating if RatedPower's pvDesign is the right fit for your business, this document will provide you with a solid technical knowledge for engineering assessment.

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What's included?

The general outline of the issues we analysed for computing the annual energy yield is:

  • The transposition of the radiation components to the tilted plane.
  • Using a library to compute the sun position.
  • The sun-tracking algorithm used in single-axis trackers (backtracking).
  • Computation of the effects of shadows on the irradiance received by a tilted plane.
  • Computation of the irradiance perceived by the back-face, used for bifacial simulations.
  • Electrical generation of a photovoltaic module being irradiated, and it’s associated losses.
  • Estimating the effect of partial shadows on strings of modules.
  • Performance of an electrical inverter and window of operation.
  • Electrical losses in a utility-scale photovoltaic plant.

Learn more about methodology's authors: Félix Pérez, Juan Romero and Miguel Ángel Torrero.